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GeForce GTX 280 vs Radeon HD 7870 XT

Intro

The GeForce GTX 280 makes use of a 65 nm design. nVidia has set the core speed at 602 MHz. The GDDR3 RAM runs at a speed of 1107 MHz on this particular model. It features 240 SPUs as well as 80 Texture Address Units and 32 ROPs.

Compare all of that to the Radeon HD 7870 XT, which comes with a core clock frequency of 925 MHz and a GDDR5 memory frequency of 1500 MHz. It also makes use of a 256-bit bus, and uses a 28 nm design. It is made up of 1536 SPUs, 96 TAUs, and 32 Raster Operation Units.

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Power Usage and Theoretical Benchmarks

Power Consumption (Max TDP)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 185 Watts
GeForce GTX 280 236 Watts
Difference: 51 Watts (28%)

Memory Bandwidth

Theoretically speaking, the Radeon HD 7870 XT should be a lot faster than the GeForce GTX 280 overall. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 192000 MB/sec
GeForce GTX 280 141696 MB/sec
Difference: 50304 (36%)

Texel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 XT is quite a bit (about 84%) better at texture filtering than the GeForce GTX 280. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 88800 Mtexels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 48160 Mtexels/sec
Difference: 40640 (84%)

Pixel Rate

The Radeon HD 7870 XT should be quite a bit (approximately 54%) better at full screen anti-aliasing than the GeForce GTX 280, and also should be capable of handling higher screen resolutions more effectively. (explain)

Radeon HD 7870 XT 29600 Mpixels/sec
GeForce GTX 280 19264 Mpixels/sec
Difference: 10336 (54%)

Please note that the above 'benchmarks' are all just theoretical - the results were calculated based on the card's specifications, and real-world performance may (and probably will) vary at least a bit.

Price Comparison

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GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7870 XT

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Please note that the price comparisons are based on search keywords - sometimes it might show cards with very similar names that are not exactly the same as the one chosen in the comparison. We do try to filter out the wrong results as best we can, though.

Specifications

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Model GeForce GTX 280 Radeon HD 7870 XT
Manufacturer nVidia AMD
Year June 17, 2008 November 2012
Code Name G200 Tahiti LE
Memory 1024 MB 2048 MB
Core Speed 602 MHz 925 MHz
Memory Speed 2214 MHz 6000 MHz
Power (Max TDP) 236 watts 185 watts
Bandwidth 141696 MB/sec 192000 MB/sec
Texel Rate 48160 Mtexels/sec 88800 Mtexels/sec
Pixel Rate 19264 Mpixels/sec 29600 Mpixels/sec
Unified Shaders 240 1536
Texture Mapping Units 80 96
Render Output Units 32 32
Bus Type GDDR3 GDDR5
Bus Width 512-bit 256-bit
Fab Process 65 nm 28 nm
Transistors 1400 million 4313 million
Bus PCIe x16 2.0 PCIe 3.0 x16
DirectX Version DirectX 10 DirectX 11.1
OpenGL Version OpenGL 3.1 OpenGL 4.3

Memory Bandwidth: Bandwidth is the max amount of information (in units of MB per second) that can be transferred over the external memory interface within a second. It's worked out by multiplying the interface width by the speed of its memory. If it uses DDR memory, the result should be multiplied by 2 once again. If DDR5, multiply by 4 instead. The better the bandwidth is, the faster the card will be in general. It especially helps with AA, HDR and high resolutions.

Texel Rate: Texel rate is the maximum number of texture map elements (texels) that can be processed in one second. This figure is worked out by multiplying the total amount of texture units by the core clock speed of the chip. The better the texel rate, the better the video card will be at handling texture filtering (anisotropic filtering - AF). It is measured in millions of texels in one second.

Pixel Rate: Pixel rate is the maximum amount of pixels the graphics card can possibly record to the local memory in one second - measured in millions of pixels per second. The figure is worked out by multiplying the amount of Raster Operations Pipelines by the the card's clock speed. ROPs (Raster Operations Pipelines - sometimes also referred to as Render Output Units) are responsible for outputting the pixels (image) to the screen. The actual pixel rate also depends on many other factors, especially the memory bandwidth - the lower the bandwidth is, the lower the potential to reach the maximum fill rate.

Display Prices

Hide Prices

GeForce GTX 280

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Radeon HD 7870 XT

Amazon.com

Check prices at:

Please note that the price comparisons are based on search keywords - sometimes it might show cards with very similar names that are not exactly the same as the one chosen in the comparison. We do try to filter out the wrong results as best we can, though.

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